Thursday, November 5, 2009

Cemetery Weddings: ‘Til Death Do Us Part

Carol CorbettMy name is Carol Corbett and I'm a freelance writer. I am currently the online editor for where I weigh in on all sorts of topics from favor savers, to bridal make-up, to vendor vendettas. Also on my resume, getting married the day after my best friend...many called us crazy, but we loved every minute as bride and bride's maid, then vice versa!

While these words are very typical of wedding vows, some couples chose to take them to a whole new level so that they might read, “in death do we start.Cemetery weddings and photo sessions are becoming ever more popular, but why? Is it the creepiness of a graveyard on Halloween, the gothic feel of the stone art surrounding them, or the proximity of loved ones lost? That all depends on the bride and groom in question. Other quirky locations have certainly become acceptable, guerrilla weddings allow for ANY location at any time and that’s not been written off. So why NOT cemetery weddings?

Unusual, sure. Eccentric? You bet. To some even morbid or gothic, maybe, but a wedding should be a reflection of the couple's unique individuality and love for one another. Cemeteries are a permanent representation of the fact that true love never dies. Seeing husbands and wives lying next to each other for eternity can by very romantic. If you're a Christian, you believe God is everywhere. So it shouldn't be a surprise to find Him in a cemetery presiding over a marriage. Cemeteries are usually looked at as the end of a life, a remembrance of lives past, a perpetual history and, it can be a place to begin a new life together. Funerals in recent years have become more of a celebration of life than a sad or dark event and so it seems only fitting for some to come full circle.

Not every bride who wants a cemetery wedding is a freak or Satan worshipper or cult member. Those who enjoy the solitude and peaceful surroundings of the graves are often misunderstood by others who say, “Ewww, how can they do that?" A cemetery is a place where many people simply don't want to go, not while they’re alive at least. But cemeteries are outdoor museums that celebrate and commemorate the people who’ve made each unique town and this great country what it is. Many cemeteries have chapels within them, offering a beautifully peaceful place amidst a big city. Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge, Massachusetts and Spring Grove Cemetery in Ohio offer wedding ceremony services to interested couples. More and more cemeteries are offering events above and beyond funerals, from weddings to bar mitzvahs. One thing to keep in mind when planning a cemetery wedding is the likelihood of a funeral happening nearby at the same time, with only 24 hours notice, that can be hard to avoid.

Having a cemetery wedding can be a way for the couple to share their special day with loved ones they’ve lost throughout the years, or generations of family they feel a special connection with. Being able to pay respects and visit your mother’s grave site on your wedding day can mean the world to a bride who’s just recently lost her battle with breast cancer.

Not every bride and groom are seeking a beautiful, secluded, or sacred spot. In some cases, a Halloween wedding in a cemetery just seems like fun and fits with their personalities. But does it really matter where a couple gets married, if they truly love each other?

Cemetery Weddings


  1. As a bride that had her wedding ceremony in a local cemetery, it's refreshing to see a little light shed on this situation. By no means are me and my husband any sort of satanic gothic people (I'm a librarian, he's a computer engineer). We chose to have a small intimate wedding with very close family at the grave of his brother, who had passed away 2 years earlier from pneumonia complications. The entire day and location had a great vibe to it and it seemed that all the flowers around the place had an extra nice bloom to them. We like to think that Love exists everywhere, even in a cemetery. Thank you Carol for summing up our thoughts and intentions in your post. Have a wonderful day. - Bethany Cookie

  2. A friend of our's had their wedding in a wedding cemetery. It was beautiful, inspiring and not at all what I had expected. We were surprised that the cemetery location actually had a planned program for people wanting to host their celebration there. As a matter of fact, the wedding had to end at a specific time because another cemetery wedding was scheduled to take place right after. Sure opened up my eyes to this practice. Great read.

  3. The photo here (and the one with two beds as gravestones on are from HAUNTED CEMETERIES OF NEW ENGLAND by Roxie J. Zwicker, PublishingWorks, Inc.

  4. Carol Corbett, Help please we are planning a cemetery wedding and things are going well but we have run in to a brick wall when it comes to the cemetery, we live in Chapel Hill NC, and the date for the wedding is Oct 31 2010. We were hoping that you may have a ideas or leads to help us out?
    Thank you


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